Report: Number of hungry Missouri children drops from last year

8 months 2 weeks 5 days ago September 08, 2016 Sep 8, 2016 Thursday, September 08 2016 Thursday, September 08, 2016 6:53:00 PM CDT in News
By: Hli Yang, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The annual United States Department of Agriculture report on household food security revealed an improvement in the number of Missourians struggling to get enough to eat, especially children.

The report found 15 percent of Missouri households experienced food insecurity at some point during 2015. That’s compared to 17 percent in 2014.

Communications manager for Feeding Missouri, Monica Palmer, said she’s excited to see a little bit of good news about hunger in Missouri.

“We still have a lot of hungry people, almost 400,000 households in Missouri are still food insecure, so we have more work to do, but we are very excited to see the positive trend,” Palmer said.

According to the USDA report, when a family is “food insecure", that means they have a difficult time getting enough to eat, or the right kinds of food to eat because they lack money or other resources.

The percentage of families that faced actual hunger, or “very low food security” also declined. In 2015, nearly 7 percent of Missourians missed meals or experienced hunger. In 2014, nearly 8 percent had very low food security. However, Missouri is still worse than the national average for “very low security”, which is 5.4 percent.

Palmer said this category is actually the worst category in the report because it means people are going without meals.

“Last year, we were number two in the nation for very low security in the nation. And this year, we’re number seven, so that’s a huge jump in the very low food security category,” Palmer said. “We’re improving, but we’re still not the best.”

Palmer said most of the time, families facing “very low food security” shield children from hunger. The adults will go without meals so the kids can eat. Still, the USDA reported there were about 274,000 households in 2015 in which children went hungry at some point during the year. Palmer said she isn’t surprised by the decline because the economy has been improving, but she thinks there are other reasons as well.

“Schools have been more aware of the issue, so they’ve been helping out a lot,” Palmer said.

Columbia Public Schools Nutrition Services Director Laina Fullum said she credits the National School Lunch Program and other programs for keeping more people from going hungry.  

“It helps families keep money in their pockets for other bills and not to have to worry about their children not eating at schools, and not having to worry about a bill,” Fullum said.

She said about 6,400 Columbia Public Schools students were on free or reduced lunches.  

September is Hunger Action Month and Palmer said taking action to reduce hunger in Missouri is key. Palmer wants to encourage people to start food drives, raise awareness and volunteer at local food banks.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Hundreds celebrated the historic aspect of Memorial Day at the Columbia Cemetery Monday. Attendees traveled from grave... More >>
46 minutes ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 5:19:00 PM CDT in News
RAYTOWN (AP) — A Jackson County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a suspected shoplifter at a Wal-Mart in a Kansas... More >>
49 minutes ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found near a... More >>
1 hour ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 4:16:52 PM CDT in News
AUXVASSE - A horse trainer is taking her skills as a behavior analyst and applying them to horses. This fundamental... More >>
3 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 2:54:00 PM CDT in News
PORTAGEVILLE (AP) — A new clue has emerged in the killings of a southeast Missouri woman and her daughter nearly... More >>
4 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Many Americans spend Memorial Day taking time to honor those who have served and fallen for this country.... More >>
4 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia hosted the biggest Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Parade in the event's 29 years of history. ... More >>
5 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 12:57:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is joining forces with the You Have Options Program to counter sexual assault. The... More >>
10 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 7:26:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of about 80 inmates serving life sentences in... More >>
11 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 6:55:41 AM CDT in News
SEDALIA (AP) — A central Missouri man has been ordered to spend 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to... More >>
11 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 6:12:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The MU Veterinary Health Center recently added a new section - the Motion Analysis Laboratory - to track... More >>
20 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 9:46:00 PM CDT in News
MORGAN COUNTY - The National Weather Service (NWS) from Springfield, Missouri has conducted a review of damage in extreme southeastern... More >>
23 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 6:09:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Volunteer security guards and local police officers are making sure the 29 th Annual Salute to Veterans Air... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have recovered two bodies and are searching for a third person after their vehicle was... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:38:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of two of four people killed when a steam-filled tank weighing nearly 2,000 pounds (900... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man who barricaded himself inside a home repeatedly fired at officers... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:54:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say they are searching for a man who shot two people,... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:46:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new business pushes its clients to their limit and has them sweating bullets. Two former NFL... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT in Sports
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
6pm 81°
7pm 78°
8pm 73°
9pm 68°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2017 Stanley Cup Final
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld